Downsville

October 17, 2016

Downsville Covered Bridge was closed by Delaware County due to “structural concerns”. The bridge will be closed until July 2017 when the reconstruction is scheduled for completion.

DOWNSVILLE COVERED BRIDGE DELAWARE COUNTY NY-13-01

Built in 1854 by Robert Murray. A single span of 174′ crossing the East Branch of the Delaware River. Displays a Long and Queenpost truss. Rehabilitated in 1998. Located on Bridge St., .1 mile off Rt. 30 in Downsville. GPS: N42° 04.617′ W074° 59.519′

DOWNSVILLE BRIDGE NY-13-01

The Downsville Bridge was completely refurbished a few years ago. Originally built in 1854 by Robert Murray, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as of April 29, 1999. Some local people recently donated time and money to construct a pleasant park by the bridge for all to enjoy while visiting. There is much local pride in this bridge and some local shops offer mementos of your visit.

This bridge is a single span of 174 feet of Long & Queenpost truss over the East Branch of the Delaware River.

Most pictures are of the “old” bridge before reconstruction. We will add more pictures of the beautiful job they did during reconstruction.

The Downsville Covered Bridge is one of six covered bridges still standing in Delaware County. It is one of three bridges owned and maintained by Delaware County; the other three bridges are privately owned.

Built by Robert Murray in 1854, this 174-footlong, single span structure incorporates the Long truss design patented on March 6, 1830 by Lieutenant Colonel Stephen H.Long of Hopkinton, New Hampshire with an added Queenpost truss. This truss design is rare to northeastern covered bridges. The Downsville Covered Bridge is one of three covered crossings that still carry traffic across branches of the Delaware River. A contract to construct the bridge was signed between Mr. Murray and the Town of Colchester for the sum of $1,700. It is New York’s only covered bridge that displays a Long truss, with an additional Queenpost truss, and is the oldest of the six covered bridges in Delaware County.

Throughout the years, Downsville has experienced many floods from the East Branch of the Delaware River. Robert Murray may have anticipated this happening, as he built the Downsville Covered Bridge high above the river. Over the years, the Delaware County highway department tried to close the old bridge to traffic and only use it as a foot bridge, but Downsville residents were insistent the bridge be used as it was originally designed.

The Downsville Covered Bridge was rehabilitated in 1998 at a cost of $975,000. Replacing the two lower chords was undoubtedly the most challenging and interesting part of the entire rehabilitation. In order to increase the strength of these chords, it was decided to use three laminated one-piece beams joined together to form each chord. There was only one problem, no one had ever made a laminated beam 174 feet long! The job was given to the Unadilla Laminated Products Company of Sidney, NY. With the help of every employee and most of their engineering department, Unadilla Laminated Products now holds the record for the longest one piece laminated beam ever constructed.

On May 22, 1999, Delaware County and the Town of Colchester Chamber of Commerce hosted a celebration of the rehabilitated Downsville Covered Bridge. Wilmer Murray, great grandson of the builder of the Downsville Covered Bridge, was in attendance for the celebration. Delaware County is to be commended for its efforts in preserving their covered bridges.

Directions to the bridge:

The bridge is located on Bridge Street within the Village of Downsville (Town of Colchester) 0.1 mile off State Route 30 at the east end of the Village.